With almost 20 per cent of the UK's estate agents on board as clients, Agency Express has enjoyed a record-breaking year. Founder and Managing Director Stephen Watson reflects on its success
Agency Express has had a record-breaking 12 months following Birmingham's National Franchise Exhibition in October 2004. Not only has the number of franchise enquiries vastly increased, but it has also been a record-breaking year for existing franchisees and the number of new estate agency clients using our specialist services.
We have had a fantastic year with the turnover of our franchisees growing month-on-month. This is due to the continued hard work of our franchisees and as the network reaps the benefits of an increased awareness of the Agency Express brand. We currently work with almost every corporate estate agency and offer a nationwide, reliable, cost-effective service that has gained us an enviable reputation within the industry.
Agency Express is a proven business concept, which gives franchisees the ability to earn sizeable incomes. Our business has grown at an average of over seven per cent per month during the first eight months of 2005 and our top franchisees are now turning over £100,000 per year with minimal overheads. If we look at the average earnings of all our franchisees, including those that have started during the course of 2005, the average earnings are £48,000.
The company was established in 1997 as a franchise to offer a nationwide 'For Sale' sign service to both corporate and independent estate agencies. Today, we have 87 franchisees and provide a daily service to almost 20 per cent of all UK estate agencies. Each board, of which there are estimated to be over 1.5 million displayed at any one time, has to be erected, serviced, changed to 'Sold' and finally removed. In short, Agency Express has tapped into a multi-million pound service industry that is largely unseen and unrecognised by the general public but welcomed by the property industry nationwide.
Franchisees come from a wide and diverse range of backgrounds, but all had no prior experience of the business. The training provides the skills and ability to run the business and unlimited support is only a telephone call away. Working out of 3,500 sqft of purpose converted offices, we provide support in many different areas including IT, board design, business development, VAT and marketing.
We also carry out all invoicing and payment collection on behalf of franchisees so you will have minimal administration and paperwork to complete each month. In addition, centralised accounting means that our larger corporate clients can receive one invoice for all their board service work nationwide, which cuts down on their administration costs.
Investing in the franchise requires £11,950 (plus reclaimable VAT) and includes virtually everything you will need to operate your Agency Express business: eight days' training at our brand new training centre and in your own protected territory, the deposit on your new sign-written and racked van, all the specialist tools and equipment you will need, a computer, printer, fax machine, stationery pack and clothing. Each franchisee receives a full 10-year Franchise Agreement, which contains an option to renew at the end of the 10 years for no additional charge.
Agency Express has most of the UK already allocated but opportunities do exist in many areas and we are keen to talk to anyone who is keen to join in our record-breaking success.